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Dictionary Of The Vulgar Tongue

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1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue 1419100076

BEN. A fool. Cant.

BENISH. Foolish.

BENISON. The beggar's benison: May your ***** and purse never fail you.

BERMUDAS. A cant name for certain places in London, privileged against arrests, like the Mint in Southwark, Ben. Jonson. These privileges are abolished.

BESS, or BETTY. A small instrument used by house−breakers to force open doors. Bring bess and glym; bring the instrument to force the door, and the dark lantern. Small flasks, like those for Florence wine, are also called betties.

BESS. See BROWN BESS.

BEST. To the best in Christendom: i.e. the best **** in

Christendom; a health formerly much in vogue.

BET. A wager. TO BET. To lay a wager.

BETTY MARTIN. That's my eye, Betty Martin; an answer to any one that attempts to impose or humbug.

BETWATTLED. Surprised, confounded, out of one's senses; also bewrayed.

BEVER. An afternoon's luncheon; also a fine hat; beaver's fur making the best hats,

BEVERAGE. Garnish money, or money for drink, demanded of any one having a new suit of clothes.

BIBLE. A boatswain's great axe. Sea term.

BIBLE OATH. Supposed by the vulgar to be more binding than an oath taken on the Testament only, as being the bigger book, and generally containing both the Old and New Testament.

BIDDY, or CHICK−A−BIDDY. A chicken, and figuratively a young wench.

BIDET, commonly pronounced BIDDY. A kind of tub, contrived for ladies to wash themselves, for which purpose they

bestride it like a French poney, or post−horse, called in French bidets.

BIENLY. Excellently. She wheedled so bienly; she coaxed

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or flattered so cleverly. French.

BILL AT SIGHT. To pay a bill at sight; to be ready at all times for the venereal act.

BILBOA. A sword. Bilboa in Spain was once famous for well−tempered blades: these are quoted by Falstaff, where he describes the manner in which he lay in the buck−basket. Bilboes, the stock; prison. Cant.

TO BILK. To cheat. Let us bilk the rattling cove; let us cheat the hackney coachman of his fare. Cant. Bilking a coachman, a box−keeper, and a poor whore, were formerly, among men of the town, thought gallant actions.

BILL OF SALE. A widow's weeds. See HOUSE TO LET.

BILLINGSGATE LANGUAGE. Foul language, or abuse. Billingsgate is the market where the fishwomen assemble to

purchase fish; and where, in their dealings and disputes, they are somewhat apt to leave decency and good manners a little on the left hand.

BING. To go. Cant. Bing avast; get you gone. Binged avast in a darkmans; stole away in the night. Bing we to Rumeville: shall we go to London?

BINGO. Brandy or other spirituous liquor. Cant.

BINGO BOY. A dram drinker. Cant.

BINGO MORT. A female dram drinker. Cant.

BINNACLE WORD. A fine or affected word, which sailors jeeringly offer to chalk up on the binnacle.

BIRD AND BABY. The sign of the eagle and child.

BIRD−WITTED. Inconsiderate, thoughtless, easily imposed on.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER. Rogues of the same gang.

BIRTH−DAY SUIT. He was in his birth−day suit, that is, stark naked.

BISHOP. A mixture of wine and water, into which is put a roasted orange. Also one of the largest of Mrs. Philips's purses, used to contain the others.

BISHOPED, or TO BISHOP. A term used among horse−dealers, for

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1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

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burning the mark into a horse's tooth, after he has lost it by age; by bishoping, a horse is made to appear

younger than he is. It is a common saying of milk that is burnt too, that the bishop has set his foot in it. Formerly, when a bishop passed through a village, all the inhabitants ran out of their houses to solicit his blessing, even leaving their milk, on the fire, to take its chance: which, went burnt to, was said to be bishoped.

TO BISHOP the balls, a term used among printers, to water them.

BIT. Money. He grappled the cull's bit; he seized the man's money. A bit is also the smallest coin in Jamaica, equal to about sixpence sterling.

BITCH. A she dog, or doggess; the most offensive appellation that can be given to an English woman, even more provoking than that of whore, as may he gathered from the regular Billinsgate or St. Giles's answer "I may be a

whore, but can't be a bitch."

TO BITCH. To yield, or give up an attempt through fear. To stand bitch; to make tea, or do the honours of the tea− table, performing a female part: bitch there standing for woman, species for genius.

BITCH BOOBY. A country wench. Military term.

BITE. A cheat; also a woman's privities. The cull wapt the mort's bite; the fellow enjoyed the wench heartily. Cant.

TO BITE. To over−reach, or impose; also to steal. Cant.Biting was once esteemed a kind of wit, similar to the humbug. An instance of it is given in the Spectator: A

man under sentence of death having sold his body to a surgeon rather below the market price, on receiving the money, cried, A bite! I am to be hanged in chains. To bite

the roger; to steal a portmanteau. To bite the wiper, to steal a handkerchief. To bite on the bridle; to be pinched or reduced to difficulties. Hark ye, friend, whether do they bite in the collar or the cod−piece? Water wit to anglers.

BITER. A wench whose **** is ready to bite her a−se; a lascivious, rampant wench.

BLAB. A tell−tale, or one incapable of keeping a secret

BLACK AND WHITE. In writing. I have it in black and

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white; I have written evidence.

BLACK ART. The art of picking a lock. Cant.

BLACK A−SE. A copper or kettle. The pot calls the kettle black a−se. Cant.

BLACK BOOK. He is down in the black book, i.e. has a

stain in his character. A black book is keep in most regiments, wherein the names of all persons sentenced to punishment are recorded.

BLACK BOX. A lawyer. Cant.

BLACK EYE. We gave the bottle a black eye, i.e. drank it almost up. He cannot say black is the white of my eye; he cannot point out a blot in my character.

BLACK FLY. The greatest drawback on the farmer is the black fly, i.e. the parson who takes tithe of the harvest.

BLACK GUARD. A shabby, mean fellow; a term said to be derived from a number of dirty, tattered roguish boys, who attended at the Horse Guards, and Parade in St. James's Park, to black the boots and shoes of the soldiers, or to do any other dirty offices. These, from their constant attendance about the time of guard mounting, were nick−named

the black−guards.

BLACK JACK. A nick name given to the Recorder by the

Thieves.

BLACK JACK. A jug to drink out of, made of jacked leather.

BLACK JOKE. A popular tune to a song, having for the burden, "Her black joke and belly so white:" figuratively

the black joke signifies the monosyllable. See MONOSYLLABLE.

BLACK INDIES. Newcastle upon Tyne, whose rich coal mines prove an Indies to the proprietors.

BLACKLEGS. A gambler or sharper on the turf or in the cockpit: so called, perhaps, from their appearing generally in

boots; or else from game−cocks whose legs are always black.

BLACK MONDAY. The first Monday after the school−boys holidays, or breaking up, when they are to go to school, and produce or repeat the tasks set them.

BLACK PSALM. To sing the black psalm; to cry: a saying used to children.

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BLACK SPICE RACKET. To rob chimney sweepers of their soot, bag and soot.

BLACK SPY. The Devil.

BLACK STRAP. Bene Carlo wine; also port. A task of labour imposed on soldiers at Gibraltar, as a punishment for small offences.

BLANK. To look blank; to appear disappointed or confounded.

BLANKET HORNPIPE. The amorous congress.

BLARNEY. He has licked the blarney stone; he deals in the wonderful, or tips us the traveller. The blarney stone is a triangular stone on the very top of an ancient castle of that name in the county of Cork in Ireland, extremely difficult of access; so that to have ascended to it, was considered as a proof of perseverance, courage, and agility, whereof

many are supposed to claim the honour, who never atchieved the adventure: and to tip the blarney, is figuratively

used telling a marvellous story, or falsity; and also sometimes to express flattery. Irish.

A BLASTED FELLOW or BRIMSTONE. An abandoned rogue or prostitute. Cant.

To BLAST. To curse.

BLATER. A calf. Cant.

BLEACHED MORT. A fair−complexioned wench.

BLEATERS. Those cheated by Jack in a box. CANT. See

JACK IN A BOX.

BLEATING CHEAT. A sheep. Cant.

BLEATING RIG. Sheep stealing. Cant.

BLEEDERS. Spurs. He clapped his bleeders to his prad; be put spurs to his horse.

BLEEDING CULLY. One who parts easily with his money, or bleeds freely.

BLEEDING NEW. A metaphor borrowed from fish, which will not bleed when stale.

BLESSING. A small quantity over and above the measure, usually given by hucksters dealing in peas, beans, and

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other vegetables.

BLIND. A feint, pretence, or shift.

BLIND CHEEKS. The breech. Buss blind cheeks; kiss mine a−se.

BLIND EXCUSE. A poor or insufficient excuse. A blind ale−house, lane, or alley; an obscure, or little known or frequented

ale−house, lane, or alley.

BLIND HARPERS. Beggars counterfeiting blindness, playing on fiddles,

BLINDMAN'S BUFF. A play used by children, where one being blinded by a handkerchief bound over his eyes, attempts to seize any one of the company, who all endeavour to avoid him; the person caught, must be blinded in

his stead.

BLIND CUPID. The backside.

BLINDMAN'S HOLIDAY. Night, darkness.

BLOCK HOUSES. Prisons, houses of correction,

BLOCKED AT BOTH ENDS. Finished. The game is blocked at both ends; the game is ended.

BLOOD. A riotous disorderly fellow.

BLOOD FOR BLOOD. A term used by tradesmen for bartering the different commodities in which they deal. Thus a

hatter furnishing a hosier with a hat, and taking payment in stockings, is said to deal blood for blood.

BLOOD MONEY. The reward given by the legislature on the conviction of highwaymen, burglars,

BLOODY BACK. A jeering appellation for a soldier, alluding to his scarlet coat.

BLOODY. A favourite word used by the thieves in swearing, as bloody eyes, bloody rascal.

BLOSS or BLOWEN. The pretended wife of a bully, or shoplifter. Cant.

TO BLOT THE SKRIP AND JAR IT. To stand engaged or bound for any one. Cant.

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BLOW. He has bit the blow, i.e. he has stolen the goods.

Cant.

BLOWEN. A mistress or whore of a gentleman of the scamp. The blowen kidded the swell into a snoozing ken, and shook him of his dummee and thimble; the

girl inveigled the gentleman into a brothel and robbed him of his pocket book and watch.

BLOWER. A pipe. How the swell funks his blower and lushes red tape; what a smoke the gentleman makes with his pipe, and drinks brandy.

TO BLOW THE GROUNSILS. To lie with a woman on the floor. Cant.

TO BLOW THE GAB. To confess, or impeach a confederate.

Cant.

BLOW−UP. A discovery, or the confusion occasioned by one.

A BLOWSE, or BLOWSABELLA. A woman whose hair is dishevelled, and hanging about her face; a slattern.

BLUBBER. The mouth. I have stopped the cull's blubber;

I have stopped the fellow's mouth, meant either by gagging or murdering him.

TO BLUBBER. To cry.

TO SPORT BLUBBER. Said of a large coarse woman, who exposes her bosom.

BLUBBER CHEEKS. Large flaccid cheeks, hanging like the fat or blubber of a whale.

BLUE, To look blue; to be confounded, terrified, or disappointed.

Blue as a razor; perhaps, blue as azure.

BLUE BOAR. A venereal bubo.

BLUE DEVILS. Low spirits.

BLUE FLAG. He has hoisted the blue flag; he has commenced publican, or taken a public house, an allusion to

the blue aprons worn by publicans. See ADMIRAL OF THE BLUE.

BLUE PIGEONS. Thieves who steal lead off houses and churches. Cant. To fly a blue pigeon; to steal lead

off houses or churches.

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BLUE PLUMB. A bullet. Surfeited with a blue plumb; wounded with a bullet. A sortment of George R 's

blue plumbs; a volley of ball, shot from soldiers' firelocks.

BLUE SKIN. A person begotten on a black woman by a white man. One of the blue squadron; any one having a cross of the black breed, or, as it is termed, a lick of the tar brush.

BLUE TAPE, or SKY BLUE. Gin.

BLUE RUIN. Gin. Blue ribband; gin.

BLUFF. Fierce, surly. He looked as bluff as bull beef.

BLUFFER. An inn−keeper. Cant.

BLUNDERBUSS. A short gun, with a wide bore, for carrying slugs; also a stupid, blundering fellow.

BLUNT. Money. Cant.

TO BLUSTER. To talk big, to hector or bully.

BOARDING SCHOOL. Bridewell, Newgate, or any other prison, or house of correction.

BOB. A shoplifter's assistant, or one that receives and carries off stolen goods. All is bob; all is safe. Cant.

BOB. A shilling.

BOBBED. Cheated, tricked, disappointed.

BOBBISH. Smart, clever, spruce.

BOB STAY. A rope which holds the bowsprit to the stem or cutwater. Figuratively, the frenum of a man's yard.

BOB TAIL. A lewd woman, or one that plays with her tail; also an impotent man, or an eunuch. Tag, rag, and bobtail; a mob of all sorts of low people. To shift one's bob;

to move off, or go away. To bear a bob; to join in chorus with any singers. Also a term used by the sellers of game, for a partridge.

BODY SNATCHERS. Bum bailiffs.

BODY OF DIVINITY BOUND IN BLACK CALF. A parson.

BOG LANDER. An Irishman; Ireland being famous for its

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large bogs, which furnish the chief fuel in many parts of that kingdom.

BOG TROTTER. The same.

BOG HOUSE. The necessary house. To go to bog; to go to stool.

BOG LATIN. Barbarous Latin. Irish. See DOG LATIN,

and APOTHECARIES LATIN.

BOGY. Ask bogy, i.e. ask mine a−se. Sea wit.

BOH. Said to be the name of a Danish general, who so terrified his opponent Foh, that he caused him to bewray

himself. Whence, when we smell a stink, it is custom to exclaim, Foh! i.e. I smell general Foh. He cannot say Boh to a goose; i.e. he is a cowardly or sheepish fellow.

There is a story related of the celebrated Ben Jonson, who always dressed very plain; that being introduced to the presence of a nobleman, the peer, struck by his homely appearance and awkward manner, exclaimed, as if in doubt, "you Ben Johnson! why you look as if you could not say Boh to a goose!" "Boh!" replied the wit.

BOLD. Bold as a miller's shirt, which every day takes a rogue by the collar.

BOLT. A blunt arrow.

BOLT UPRIGHT. As erect, or straight up, as an arrow set on its end.

TO BOLT. To run suddenly out of one's house, or hiding place, through fear; a term borrowed from a rabbit−warren, where the rabbits are made to bolt, by sending

ferrets into their burrows: we set the house on fire, and made him bolt. To bolt, also means to swallow meat without chewing: the farmer's servants in Kent are famous for bolting large quantities of pickled pork.

BONES. Dice.

BONE BOX. The mouth. Shut your bone box; shut your mouth.

BONE PICKER. A footman.

BONED. Seized. apprehended, taken up by a constable. CANT.

BOLUS. A nick name for an apothecary.

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BONESETTER. A hard−trotting horse.

BOOBY, or DOG BOOBY. An awkward lout, clodhopper, or country fellow. See CLODHOPPER and LOUT. A bitch booby; a country wench.

BOOBY HUTCH. A one−horse chaise, noddy, buggy, or leathern bottle.

BOOKS. Cards to play with. To plant the books; to place the cards in the pack in an unfair manner.

BOOK−KEEPER. One who never returns borrowed books. Out of one's books; out of one's fevor. Out of his books; out of debt.

BOOT CATCHER. The servant at an inn whose business it is to clean the boots of the guest.

BOOTS. The youngest officer in a regimental mess, whose duty it is to skink, that is, to stir the fire, snuff the

candles, and ring the bell. See SKINK. To ride in any one's old boots; to marry or keep his cast−off mistress.

BOOTY. To play booty; cheating play, where the player purposely avoids winning.

BO−PEEP. One who sometimes hides himself, and sometimes appears publicly abroad, is said to−play at bo−peep.

Also one who lies perdue, or on the watch.

BORACHIO. A skin for holding wine, commonly a goat's; also a nick name for a drunkard.

BORDE. A shilling. A half borde; a sixpence.

BORDELLO. A bawdy house.

BORE. A tedious, troublesome man or woman, one who bores the ears of his hearers with an uninteresting tale; a term much in fashion about the years 1780 and 1781.

BORN UNDER A THREEPENNY HALFPENNY PLANET, NEVER TO BE WORTH A GROAT. Said of any person remarkably unsuccessful in his attempts or

profession.

BOTCH. A nick name for a taylor.

BOTHERED or BOTH−EARED. Talked to at both ears by different persons at the same time, confounded, confused. IRISH PHRASE.

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